Complaining that their parking lots are being abused by overstaying visitors, several mall owners in Qatar have requested permission to raise their parking fees.
The prices are currently set by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. They range from QR2 for the first hour to up to QR70 a day.
According to the Qatar Tribune, management from Royal Plaza, Tawar Mall, and City Center Mall, among others, attended a meeting of the Qatar Chamber (QC) recently to discuss the issue.
The QC formed a committee to manage mall affairs earlier this month.
The aim is to help the rapidly growing retail sector deal with “any obstacles,” officials said at the time.
During their meeting, mall managers lamented government controls on parking fees. They said people sometimes park and leave their cars for a long time even if they’re not visiting the venue.
Some even leave their cars after stores have closed, “which could pose a security risk,” they added.
Managers are now seeking the ability to determine their own fees after the first two hours of someone’s visit.
The Peninsula reports that mall management would also like to be able to partition their shops and malls without having to take prior permission from government officials.
Currently, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and Civil Defense must sign off of any changes inside facilities that are bigger than 150 square meters.
But officials would like to be able to make changes that don’t involve corridors or outer portions of their shops, the newspaper said.
Finally, mall owners have also requested that their electricity bills be brought down.
Many shopping centers have been seeing costs rise since Kahramaa hiked utility fees in 2015.
To manage expenses, malls began adjusting thermostat and escalator timings. They also have changed out old light bulbs for new energy-efficient ones, among other things.
Do you think parking fees should go up? Thoughts?